Your Summer BBQ Checklist

bbqPlanning a BBQ event can be both time consuming and incredibly stressful. There are a lot people to please including management, colleagues and clients. So the last thing you want is to forget something or for your BBQ to not live up to your expectations. To ensure your BBQ is a success we want to give away some useful tips all compiled into a very handy checklist to make your life much easier. We promise that this is the only summer BBQ checklist you will ever need.

8-10 weeks in advance

Before you can even begin to start ticking things off your checklist you must first decide who is responsible for which tasks . Be clear about responsibilities and set clear deadlines for the  tasks to be completed.

Now that you’ve delegated all of the tasks you need to decide on the objectives of your BBQ event. Identify the best date and time to attract the desired amount of guests. It’s also important that you estimate the number of guests so then you can decide whether or not a  Set admission charge would be appropriate . Once the amount of guests has been decided you can then calculate the budget for the whole event.

The location of your BBQ is imperative to whether or not your guests will be able to attend. Make sure your BBQ is located in a convenient and legal location. For instance if it is at an external venue or local park – make sure you enquire and secure the venue or location as early as possible to avoid disappointment as well as obtain any permits from the local government if necessary. When booking your venue make sure you’re clear about the capacity, logistics of the venue, disability access,facilities provided and seating arrangements. Other additional extras for your venue to have could be guest cloak rooms, coat rails and coat hangers.

On your BBQ invitations illustrate the benefits to your guests for attending and make confirmation of attendance easy. Perhaps send invites and reminders at least two weeks before your event is scheduled. Also, consider telephoning guests you really want to attend and  ensure you have name cards/holders in place.

Now that all of the logistics are sorted out you should contact your BBQ caterer to discuss the menu that will best fit your BBQ party. Ensure that you let your BBQ caterer know of  any other requirements such as drinks, staffing, equipment, furniture, heat lamps, poseur tables and marquees as they may be able to help.

Have you considered a theme of your BBQ? The most successful themed events are well researched in terms of purpose, decorations and feasability. To make your BBQ extra comfortable for your guests why not hire hay bales, picnic blankets, bean bags or deck chairs?

Think about other services you may require for example: photographers, DJ’s, AV equipment, lighting/power, transportation, accommodation, external toilets, security, staging, florists, clown, magicians, face painters, photo booths, ice cream carts, sweet carts, chocolate fountains, candy floss carts and marquees.  As well as these services consider entertaining your guests with some fun outdoor games. Get into to the relaxed party mood and create some fun games that everyone can get involved in. For example, garden chess,croquet, skittles, mini bowls, swing tennis, and even a bouncy castle if your budget permits it!

5-6 weeks in advance

Make enquiries to all suppliers and gather costings. Ensure confirmation for both supplier and BBQ caterer bookings.

Organise site visits and discuss how best to use the event space in terms of what the most suitable set-up is as well as how catering will be delivered on the day.

Write a checklist for all the things required on the day.

2-3 weeks in advance

Write speeches (if you are planning on having any) and always decide on a plan B if guest speaker or main speaker cannot attend on the day due to any unforseen circumstances.
Send confirmation to attendees with site maps and check on any special dietary requirements they might have then relay these to your BBQ caterer.

Ensure fire safety and health and safety checks are done.

Allocate staff and their tasks on the day of the event.

Re-confirm everything is in order with all suppliers and BBQ caterer.

Write your event brief, with tasks and timings for all staff, suppliers and caterers on the day.

Ensure that any team leaders are fully briefed.

1 week in advance

Check you have first aid kits, emergency stationary such as sellotape, scissors, extension leads, string on hand and in place for your BBQ.

Make sure you have all the props for games.

Organise name cards.

1 day in advance

Do one last final confirmation and email to attendees to let them know that you are looking forward to their attendance.

Set up all decorations, games, tables, chairs, seating cards at the venue.

Final checklist check.

On the day

Brief all staff and suppliers on the day and be clear what is required – their positioning, dress code and delegated tasks.

Allow yourself plenty of time to set up before greeting your guests and importantly enjoy the day!

Post event

Evaluate the success of the event against the objectives set at the beginning.

Send a thank you note to attendees and note to non-attendees.